Phone: (610) 836-2105
Location: Camden, SC
I love training horses and my business is my life. My husband and I are a great team and we do the work ourselves, from cleaning the stalls to grooming the horses to riding the horses to feeding. We hold ourselves to a high standard and we do our very best for our horses each and every day. The horse comes first. Obviously, having an "in house jump jockey" has its perks. Bernie is an extremely good rider and I say that unbiased. Bernie has gotten more than a few "difficult horses" to turnaround over the years. We look at each horse as an individual and we try to show a horse that daily training is fun, not a chore. We have the luxury in Camden of a lovely training center that allows variety for horses so they don't just gallop on a track in a left handed circle. We can gallop on turf, we can go in different directions and gallop in patterns such as "figure 8". We can jog on wooded trails or in maintained fields. A horse can get a lot of fitness work in without realizing that it's training. I especially love teaching horses new skills. I love the breaking process and working with young horses. They learn so quickly and it is very gratifying to see them progress from week to week. The same can be said for teaching an older horse who has always been a flat runner to jump. When they realize that they are capable of doing something they haven't tried before and they show you that they are proud of themselves, that's the best.
My Experience and Background
I began riding ponies at age 3 and quickly became "horse crazy." All through my childhood I rode every day and showed in various equitation and hunter divisions on the weekends. Around age 16 I discovered the "jumper" divisions and showed in those until I was 18. When I was finished with high school I took a job with Jonathan Sheppard and immediately fell in love with steeplechasing. I stayed with Jonathan for 4 years until while in Saratoga for him I fell in love with Bernie Dalton and followed him to Dubai where he spent 6 months of the year. In Dubai I worked for Kiaran McLaughlin and when Kiaran came back to Saratoga I continued working for him. In the fall of 2003 Kiaran opted to go to Florida instead of Dubai and Bernie and I decided to spend the winter in Camden, and we haven't left since. I began training my first horses in 2004 and we officially started a business in 2005.
I think that horses give you so many of these- some much smaller than others, but often just as gratifying. I would call "Cat Feathers" a big accomplishment because she was difficult to train in that she could fall apart overnight. She won 2 Saratoga stakes for us and was also 2nd in two Saratoga stakes and 3rd in a Grade III Steeplechase. We also won a Saratoga stake with "African Oil" who was a known difficult horse. We have broken many successful flat horses that have won races for trainers such as Kiaran McLaughlin, George Weaver, Dan Hendricks, Craig Dollase, Derek Ryan, Dave Duggan and others. "Cagey Girl" was a fun filly who we broke as a yearling and who returned to us each winter for "a break" when the turf season ended. She was a stake horse in NY who made over $300,000. We also used to freshen up "Bella Attrice" in the off season. I'm also quite proud of a current steeplechaser in my barn called "Strongbox" who is competitive in jump races despite only having one eye. "Judy's Chance" is a nice flat horse we broke as a yearling and who returned to us in the fall of her two year old year to get trained up for her three year old season. She has banked over $100,000. and was 5 for 5 in 2017.